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Recognize life's good deals



Updated: 2017-08-17T04:20:17Z

 



10+ smart grocery shopping hacks

2017-08-17T04:20:17Z

A great place to shave expenses is by smart grocery shopping. Here are some hacks for doing just that … One of the first places that people look to save money is on food. Smart grocery shopping isn't just one strategy; it's a collection of strategies. Any one, or several of them, will help you […] Visit Mighty Bargain Hunter for more articles on recognizing life's good deals! A great place to shave expenses is by smart grocery shopping. Here are some hacks for doing just that … One of the first places that people look to save money is on food. Smart grocery shopping isn't just one strategy; it's a collection of strategies. Any one, or several of them, will help you to save money. Smart grocery shopping hacks you can use now Here's a list of 10+ smart grocery shopping hacks you can apply right now: Check out the store brand carefully. Checking out the unit pricing is one step. Checking out the taste, consistency, graininess, sweetness, saltiness, etc., with the name brand is another step. Checking out the ingredients is a third step that may not be on your radar. What type of sweetener is used? What extra ingredients does one have, or not? Is one set of ingredients less processed than the other? If the store brand is way cheaper than the name brand, try to find out why. Consider whether the more expensive food is worth a try. You are what you eat. Organic, all-natural, non-GMO, etc., is on average more expensive than processed, genetically-modified, and artificial. Maybe eating better food will pay dividends in other places: fewer health problems, more energy, etc. Resist shopping when you're hungry. It's a recipe for buying a whole lot more food, and a whole lot worse food, than if you have just eaten. Sometimes I catch myself when I don't follow this advice, and sometimes I don't. (It's easier not to put a whole lot of junk in the cart when my wife is with me.) Shop with a list. We have a whiteboard near the kitchen that we put needed items on and head to the store when the list gets long enough. The act of purposeful shopping will help you to spend less because you have an agenda. Get the things you need, and get out. Consider tracking your grocery spending separately from other household spending. I go back and forth on this point when I track expenses in Quicken: Do I have a Groceries category and a Household category, or do I combine them? In my latest attempt at tracking my expenses, I'm calling out groceries separately. Why? Because food habits are distinct from cleaning and maintenance habits. How I eat is different than how I shave or shower. Buy produce in season when you can. When food is in season it's usually lower in price, and it tastes better. The US Department of Agriculture has information about fruits and vegetables in season, as well as other nutrition information on each. Specials might not be so special. The clearance section sometimes has great deals, but sometimes not. Knowing what things cost helps a lot here; what looks like a huge markdown may not actually be a huge markdown. A “limited edition” is marketing, and may just be a study. When a common item comes out with a wacky flavor in “limited edition,” it's clear that the limited edition is marketing-induced scarcity. (Think Disney “opening the vault.”) My theory is that some of these are marketing studies — a product idea that passed enough hurdles internally to get a little more distribution Only buy as much as you know you'll eat. This is a downside of wholesale-club quantities. Ten pounds of carrots, a two-pound brick of cheese, etc. — will you really eat all of that before it goes bad? Whether you err on the side of caution and don't waste any food, or get a bit more than you can eat comfortably because it's that much cheaper than a smaller quantity, it's good to consider your rate of consumption when buying groceries. Use coupons only if you'd buy the item anyway. It's been a while since I've sought out coupons. Part of the reason is that we are a bit [...]



My automatic savings passed $1k with Change

2017-08-15T04:48:26Z

Change continues to use its smarts for automatic savings. And, a taste of the observations it sends out … I've been using Change since the end of May 2017. (Here's the previous update post.) Change is a service that aims to change behavior about saving and spending with algorithms and behavioral economics (i.e. “smarts”). Automatic savings […] Visit Mighty Bargain Hunter for more articles on recognizing life's good deals! Change continues to use its smarts for automatic savings. And, a taste of the observations it sends out … I've been using Change since the end of May 2017. (Here's the previous update post.) Change is a service that aims to change behavior about saving and spending with algorithms and behavioral economics (i.e. “smarts”). Automatic savings update I mentioned in my review here that the feature that got my attention with Change was the smart automatic savings feature. This feature is a lot like traditional automatic withdrawals from your bank, except that it incorporates adaptive algorithms that adjust to your spending patterns and balances. Set it and forget it, and it does its best to withdraw just the right amount on your behalf. Here's a record of what Change withdrew from my checking account into my savings account: 5/30/2017 $24.39 5/31/2017 $24.39 6/1/2017 $36.36 6/5/2017 $34.82 6/6/2017 $34.82 6/7/2017 $31.62 6/8/2017 $29.30 6/12/2017 $29.30 6/13/2017 $29.30 6/14/2017 $29.90 6/15/2017 $29.88 6/19/2017 $34.90 6/20/2017 $26.44 6/21/2017 $26.86 6/22/2017 $27.17 6/26/2017 $26.69 6/27/2017 $26.82 6/28/2017 $26.41 6/29/2017 $30.97 7/3/2017 $11.41 7/5/2017 $23.68 7/6/2017 $20.69 7/10/2017 $18.21 7/11/2017 $18.61 7/12/2017 $21.21 7/13/2017 $21.55 7/17/2017 $21.37 7/18/2017 $21.54 7/19/2017 $20.76 7/20/2017 $20.58 7/24/2017 $20.75 7/26/2017 $5.75 7/27/2017 $20.74 7/31/2017 $20.45 8/2/2017 $28.91 8/3/2017 $24.71 8/7/2017 $25.53 8/8/2017 $29.88 8/9/2017 $30.36 8/10/2017 $18.21 TOTAL $1,017.44 Change continues to work exactly as promised. Once I set Auto-Savings up, it withdrew between $5 and $100 up to a few times a week (usually four times a week, but occasionally fewer). The cool thing now is that it's pulled out over $1,000. Dave Ramsey has a baby step about getting a $1,000 emergency fund in place. Change did this for me, and I barely noticed. It was all set and forget! Change is absolutely free. Give it a run to see how it can help you. (I'm happy with it, but judge for yourself!) The amounts that it chose to pull out for the automatic savings continue to be unusually specific. are interesting. Over the past month, the withdrawals were mostly in the $20-$30 range. The least was a $5.75 withdrawal near the end of the month. This was a week that our checking account was a bit low, so Change got more conservative. Here's how Change encouraged me to review my expenses I continue to get texts from Change regularly. Most present my balances, and others give observations about my spending and saving habits. At the end of July, I got this: Your cash flow summary for July just came in, and buddy, it could be better. Be mindful of your spending this month. Tap <> to see for yourself. And clicking on the link gave me a picture of a sad face and a fairly large negative amount, with this: John, we're not going to sugarcoat it — your net cash flow is negative, meaning you spent more money than you brought in this month. Consider ways to increase your income or curb your spending next month, so you can get back on track. Uh-oh. This encouraged me to review my expenses. (The link to do so was right there: convenient.) Doing this made me feel a bit better. The main culprit this past month was our vacation. Just like last month, this kind of expense is something that we planned for, and it's not one that happens every month. The rest could be explained by the Change automatic withdrawals to savings; these got characterized as expenses. Bu[...]



Keep more money on the table: 2FrugalDudes Podcast

2017-08-10T04:05:29Z

There's money on the table everywhere. How much of it are you keeping? I talked with Sean Merron and Kevin Griffin, also known as 2FrugalDudes, about this topic and more … A couple of weeks ago I had the great pleasure of working with Sean Merron and Kevin Griffin, co-creators of the 2FrugalDudes podcast, to […]

Visit Mighty Bargain Hunter for more articles on recognizing life's good deals!

There's money on the table everywhere. How much of it are you keeping? I talked with Sean Merron and Kevin Griffin, also known as 2FrugalDudes, about this topic and more …

(image) A couple of weeks ago I had the great pleasure of working with Sean Merron and Kevin Griffin, co-creators of the 2FrugalDudes podcast, to talk about the money that we leave on the table.

The 36-plus-minute Episode 38 of the podcast hit the Web today. Here are just a few of the things that we talked about:

  • One super-easy money-saving tip I missed for a couple of years (6:50)
  • The money lesson my mom taught me in high school (8:05)
  • Tips on recognizing a good deal (10:20)
  • How persistence and patience pays off with great deals (12:20)
  • The Change app and how it's helped me to save money (16:40)
  • Saving money at Chuck E. Cheese (18:00)
  • Three things that you can do with unused gift cards (19:35)
  • Why gift exchanges aren't always necessary (21:20)
  • My very, very best money-saving tip (22:55)
  • How to avoid lemons at auto auctions (26:20)
  • whole bunch of talk about shaving (30:55)

Check out the show as well as the other great episodes of 2FrugalDudes!

Visit Mighty Bargain Hunter for more articles on recognizing life's good deals!




Best things to buy in August

2017-08-03T05:10:04Z

Business is cyclical. Here are the best things to buy in August … There are good deals to be found year-round for just about anything.  However, it's the nature of business that a lot of deals happen at the same time during the year. Best things to buy in August Here are things that you can […] Visit Mighty Bargain Hunter for more articles on recognizing life's good deals! Business is cyclical. Here are the best things to buy in August … There are good deals to be found year-round for just about anything.  However, it's the nature of business that a lot of deals happen at the same time during the year. Best things to buy in August Here are things that you can find good deals on in August: Summer wear. It's getting into the latter part of summer now, so people have already gotten their summer clothes. Hence, retailers are already looking to clear out inventory. Add swimwear to this list; if you have children you can look for the next size up and buy at a heavy discount. Computer laptops. Part of the back-to-school nature of August means that laptops are on sale, as many colleges and a lot of high schools all but require them for coursework. Computers get more powerful all the time; there's a steep premium for getting the latest and greatest, so consider looking for models that aren't absolutely the newest. They won't be all that worse and the savings will make up for it. Other back-to-school supplies. I've seen deals like loose-leaf filler paper for one cent with a $5 purchase. Walmart still is pretty good for back-to-school deals. You don't even need to be a student to cash in on the bargains. Grills. People have ushered in summer already with Memorial Day, graduations, and Independence Day, and now it's just crazy hot. The standard grills now start to go on sale to clear out space for autumn. If you want even better deals, though, you can continue to wait it out through September as Labor Day passes. Seasonal fruits and veggies. There's always something in season, and it's cheaper and healthier to get it in season. Some favorites for August are apricots, blackberries, kiwi, melons, nectarines, peaches, raspberries, tomatoes, broccoli, cucumber, peas, watercress, and more. (The list is fairly similar to July's.) Air conditioners. Air conditioners typically start to drop in price in July, and they continue to drop in August. Part of me thinks that the price is highest at the beginning of the summer because that's when air conditioners (especially central air) tend to break down — after a long cold spell. That's when ours have broken down in the past. Anyway, enjoy the deals if you happen to need one now! As a bonus, your state may have a sales-tax-free holiday this month. Many are the first weekend in August. Visit Mighty Bargain Hunter for more articles on recognizing life's good deals! [...]



Side hustles: Five things to remember

2017-07-31T04:22:19Z

Got a side hustle? Got twelve side hustles? That's awesome! Just remember the “side” part of side hustle: This past Wednesday was a busier day than normal. A few weeks ago I had agreed to be a guest on the 2 Frugal Dudes podcast. In the interim, things got crazy busy at my day job, […] Visit Mighty Bargain Hunter for more articles on recognizing life's good deals! Got a side hustle? Got twelve side hustles? That's awesome! Just remember the “side” part of side hustle: This past Wednesday was a busier day than normal. A few weeks ago I had agreed to be a guest on the 2 Frugal Dudes podcast. In the interim, things got crazy busy at my day job, and I had been putting in extra hours there. I also had arranged to visit a childhood friend who was visiting his parents only a few hours from us; we had scheduled something for this coming weekend. Then, Tuesday night, I got a request through Wyzant to do some statistics tutoring. The tutoring had to be done this week because her class was almost done. **Deep breath** OK, so I put in a full day at work, then drove a half-hour one way to tutor someone for two hours … then drove back in time to record a podcast that night for another hour or so. Side hustle is half “hustle” … Wednesday was a long day — nearly fourteen hours without much down time — with a lot of different things going on: two different “side hustle” events on top of a full-time day job. I managed to get through it without dropping any balls, but it would be a recipe for burnout to do that every day, or even four times a week. To make viable life options takes some hustle, of course. Anything worthwhile is work. If it weren't everyone would be doing it, right? … but it's also half “side” But until any of my side hustles are viable alternatives to my full-time job, it makes good sense for someone in my position to do everything I can to keep that job. By “in my position” I mean “with a family that I support” — in other words, if I were to lose my job, I'd be at risk of putting myself and my family in a world of hurt. It's a side hustle. My primary “hustle” is my day job. Actually, it's more than primary. It's critical. Five things to remember with side hustles Remember to be thankful for your job. Not everyone has one. Your job could be stressful (mine is at times) but it is still a job, and it pays. I'm also keenly aware that jobs can vanish. Remember to treat your job with the respect it deserves. Working a side hustle on someone else's nickel is just stupid. Your employer is paying you to work for them, not for yourself. Work on your side hustle on your own time (or at least, not on your employer's time!) Remember to count the cost of the side hustle. There are the actual expenses of executing the side hustle, of course. Sometimes it's clear that a job just isn't worth it. But most hustles take time, which cannot be replaced. Be aware of what isn't getting done while you're off side hustling. If it was a low-value activity that you could easily do without, then you're good. If it's spending time with family, that's less clear. If it's in direct competition with your day job, then that's a definite red flag; see item 2 above. Remember that money isn't everything. This is related to item 3 above. Time is precious. A day can never be relived. Health is important, too. Family is important, too. Money can make some problems go away, but it's less effective at mending neglected relationships or poor overall health. Remember, too, that there may be extra money to be made at your day job. Can you earn overtime pay? Can you go on travel and eat cheaply to pocket the difference in a standard travel allowance? Going in a different direction than your day job to make extra money is certainly an option, but it may not be necessary!   Visit Mighty Bargain Hunter for more art[...]



Automatic savings: Another month of Change

2017-07-16T04:15:04Z

Change continues to use its smarts for automatic savings. And, a taste of the observations it sends out … I've been using Change for a little over a month now. (Here's the previous update post.) Change is a service that aims to change behavior about saving and spending with algorithms and behavioral economics (i.e. “smarts”). Automatic […] Visit Mighty Bargain Hunter for more articles on recognizing life's good deals! Change continues to use its smarts for automatic savings. And, a taste of the observations it sends out … I've been using Change for a little over a month now. (Here's the previous update post.) Change is a service that aims to change behavior about saving and spending with algorithms and behavioral economics (i.e. “smarts”). Automatic savings update I mentioned in my review here that the feature that got my attention with Change was the smart automatic savings feature. It's a lot like traditional automatic withdrawals from your bank, plus adaptive algorithms that adjust to your spending patterns and balances. Set it and forget it, and it does its best to withdraw just the right amount on your behalf. Here's a record of what Change withdrew from my checking account into my savings account: 5/30/2017 $24.39 5/31/2017 $24.39 6/1/2017 $36.36 6/5/2017 $34.82 6/6/2017 $34.82 6/7/2017 $31.62 6/8/2017 $29.30 6/12/2017 $29.30 6/13/2017 $29.30 6/14/2017 $29.90 6/15/2017 $29.88 6/19/2017 $34.90 6/20/2017 $26.44 6/21/2017 $26.86 6/22/2017 $27.17 6/26/2017 $26.69 6/27/2017 $26.82 6/28/2017 $26.41 6/29/2017 $30.97 7/3/2017 $11.41 7/5/2017 $23.68 7/6/2017 $20.69 7/10/2017 $18.21 TOTAL $634.33 Change continues to work exactly as promised. Once I set Auto-Savings up, it withdrew between $5 and $100 up to a few times a week. And now I'm looking at over $600 squirreled away in a savings account. All set and forget! Change is absolutely free. Give it a run to see how it can help you. (I'm happy with it, but judge for yourself!) The amounts that it chose to pull out for the automatic savings are interesting. It pulled out $29.30, three days in a row. After July began it pulled out only $11.41 one day, which is the lowest amount to date. My guess is that the balance was getting lower, and jumped down quite a bit when the two mortgages came out at the beginning of the month. Here's how Change encouraged me to review my expenses I continue to get texts from Change regularly. Most present my balances, and others give observations about my spending and saving habits. At the end of June, I got this little gem: Your cash flow summary for June just came in, and buddy, it could be better. Be mindful of your spending this month. Tap <> to see for yourself. And clicking on the link gave me a picture of a sad face and a fairly large negative amount, with this: John, we're not going to sugarcoat it — your net cash flow is negative, meaning you spent more money than you brought in this month. Consider ways to increase your income or curb your spending next month, so you can get back on track. Uh-oh. This encouraged me to review my expenses. (The link to do so was right there: convenient.) Doing this made me feel a bit better. Most of the overage was the first half of our real estate and personal property taxes, which get paid twice a year. In other words, this was an unusually high month for expenses. (Another one will happen in December.) The rest could be explained by the Change automatic withdrawals to savings; these got characterized as expenses. (Side note: Use Money saving Mark & Spencer vouchers in order to save some more money!) But, still, the whole thing got my attention, and reviewing expenses is a good thing. That's the behavior science at work. I'm looking forward to more insights with Change Change's algorithm is putting together an interesting picture of how we as[...]



Flipping on eBay: Thomas the Tank Engine DVDs

2017-07-09T05:57:10Z

Part of flipping on eBay for fun and profit is finding products to sell. But the deal isn't complete until things are sold … Garage sales can be good places to get products for reselling on eBay. Of course, finding the product is only part of this. The other part is selling it for a […] Visit Mighty Bargain Hunter for more articles on recognizing life's good deals! Part of flipping on eBay for fun and profit is finding products to sell. But the deal isn't complete until things are sold … Garage sales can be good places to get products for reselling on eBay. Of course, finding the product is only part of this. The other part is selling it for a profit, after taking into account any fees and shipping. Flipping on eBay: Thomas the Tank Engine overload I've dabbled in buying things at yard sales and trying to resell them for profit. At one point I was selling magazine back issues — I even had an eBay store at one point — but got out of it because the shipping was killing me. A few weeks ago, I ran to a yard sale while my daughter registered for summer swim league. The family had three plastic bags full of children's DVDs, mostly Thomas the Tank Engine and Bob the Builder DVDs. The DVDs didn't have cases, but the price was pretty good: $9 for dozens of them. So I took a risk and bought them. Did I flush $9 down the drain? After getting them home, I counted 72 DVDs, so I had picked them up for about $0.13 each. I looked up what some similar lots went for on eBay by checking the sold listings. Most of the listings for DVD lots had the original boxes, but a few had just the DVDs. Those sold for about $1/DVD shipped, so I had a chance at least. Preparing the listing I intended to sweeten the deal by throwing in an extra 108-DVD soft case that I had lying around. This had cost me about $10 or so but I had plenty of other ways to store my CDs/DVDs so it wasn't a big deal to part ways with this one. Then I went through each DVD and spot-checked to see that each played. (All of them had visible wear on them.) All but four of them played on my computer, which was good news. As I checked each one, I typed out the title so that I could put the entire list of DVDs into the eBay listing. I then calculated the shipping on the item. I planned to offer free shipping because buyers like to have everything for one price. Also, there was no real benefit as far as I could tell to splitting out the shipping. The shipping was about $10 anywhere in the US. I took six pictures of the DVDs. I didn't take pictures of all of them because I had the entire catalog of DVDs in the listing. Negotiating the sale Maybe buyers see through this but I watched my own listing. That way it piqued some extra bit of interest. I had set the price at $79. EBay allows up to 50 listings per month with no insertion fees (with some restrictions). A few days into the listing I got an offer for $35, which was too low; I had $29 in costs, plus $3.50 final value fee, plus PayPal fees. Almost no profit, if any. I counteroffered $60. She went up to $40. I came down $19, and she went up only $5. OK, I'll stop this nonsense, I thought. I countered with $59.50. She got the hint and came up to $55, which I accepted. That put my profit at about $20. What I would have done differently This little adventure left me in the black, so I closed out the sale successfully. Here's what I would have done differently, though: I might have refused the lowball offer. Thirty-five dollars was less than half of what I was asking. It was the first offer, though, and I probably was a bit concerned that the listing wouldn't get any more action. I could have waited for someone willing to start a bit higher. I came down too much in the first round. I didn't need to come down $19. Dropping the price to $75 would have been better, though I think dropping it to $78.50 the first time would have been obnoxious. I[...]



Best things to buy in July

2017-08-03T04:27:45Z

Business is cyclical. Here are the best things to buy in July … There are good deals to be found year-round for just about anything.  However, it's the nature of business that a lot of deals happen at the same time during the year. Best things to buy in July Here are things that you can […] Visit Mighty Bargain Hunter for more articles on recognizing life's good deals! Business is cyclical. Here are the best things to buy in July … There are good deals to be found year-round for just about anything.  However, it's the nature of business that a lot of deals happen at the same time during the year. Best things to buy in July Here are things that you can find good deals on in July: Tools continue to be on sale. Stores stocked up on tools for Father's Day and now that it's passed, they want to get rid of them. That means more sales! Summer wear. It's … summer now, so people have already gotten their summer clothes. Hence, retailers are already looking to clear out inventory. Air conditioners. There's a lot of summer left, of course, but air conditioners typically start to drop in price in July. Part of me thinks that the price is highest at the beginning of the summer because that's when air conditioners (especially central air) tend to break down — after a long cold spell. That's when ours have broken down in the past. Paint. True story: My wife not only painted this past week, she did it in a cabin she built for our daughter. Sweltering hot in there! Most people aren't as gung-ho (or as awesome) as my wife, so paint tends to be cheaper during the hot summer months. Mattresses. Apparently, late spring and early summer is the prime mattress-buying season. We got our mattress around Memorial Day, and the deals continue through the Fourth of July. Grills. Finally grills are on sale! The past couple of months are not the best time to buy grills, but now it is. People have ushered in summer already with Memorial Day and graduations, and now it's just blasted hot. The standard grills now go on sale to clear out space for autumn (though August will have even better deals). Seasonal fruits and veggies. There's always something in season, and it's cheaper and healthier to get it in season. Some favorites for July are apricots, blackberries, kiwi, melons, nectarines, peaches, raspberries, tomatoes, broccoli, cucumber, peas, watercress, and more. Twice-yearly furniture refreshes. July is the month that retailers unload the couches, chairs, and others that were so March of this year — because no one wants to be six months out of date on furniture, apparently. Anyway, if you don't mind sitting on something that's ever-so-slightly out of date style-wise, then this is your time to buy! Visit Mighty Bargain Hunter for more articles on recognizing life's good deals! [...]



Use it or lose it (and laugh at my monotone voice)

2017-06-28T07:12:05Z

When cleaning house, a great rule is to “use it or lose it” — in other words, to get rid of the things you haven't used in awhile. So, I decided to use a digital recorder I hadn't used in a few years … It's normal to accumulate stuff. Maybe even a lot of stuff. Once […] Visit Mighty Bargain Hunter for more articles on recognizing life's good deals! When cleaning house, a great rule is to “use it or lose it” — in other words, to get rid of the things you haven't used in awhile. So, I decided to use a digital recorder I hadn't used in a few years … It's normal to accumulate stuff. Maybe even a lot of stuff. Once every so often at least, it's a good idea to take inventory to clear out, sell, give away, or otherwise dispose of things you haven't used in awhile. The road to clutter is paved with good intentions Isn't this how it is: There's a well-laid-out, superb plan for using something we're going to buy. Whether it's starting up a new hobby, expanding an old one, or launching a business, we can almost taste how we're going to use that new gadget. And maybe we do actually use it. Once. Then it collects dust in a box because life gets in the way. Or because the new activity is more work than we thought it was going to be. Or — and this is what happens to me — I paralyzed myself with the possibilities, and try to do everything at once to get things moving. Or I fiddle with getting the thing to work so much that I can't really remember how I got it to work. Or I realize what a complete and utter novice I am at using this new thing, and chicken out actually trying something. Basically, I spin my wheels, get tired, and move on to something else. Some new shiny. This is a silly cycle to be on. It's high time that I stop. I have enough things. I need to use it or lose it, one thing at a time.   Use it or lose it: Zoom H2N Handy Recorder I bought a Zoom H2N Handy Recorder (with an accessory pack) a few years back when I was in a band and looking for ways to record myself practicing, improvising, and so forth. It's a neat little recorder. The quality of the recording is very good (at least to my mid-forties ears). It records to WAV files and has an MP3 encoder. I can get feedback on the recording level from the built-in display as I talk into the microphone. And sending the files over to my desktop is a matter of plugging in a USB cable. At some point I get really fancy I can modify the strength of the sidelobes to change the recording mode for different purposes. (But I'm not there yet.) I used it essentially for one job, then hadn't used it since. I saw it again a few weeks ago and decided to use it again. I changed my tactic, though. Rather than overengineering things, overplanning things, overthinking things, I just shipped. I finished something and put it out there. And here it is: My very own first Mighty Bargain Tip. https://www.mightybargainhunter.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/UseWhatYouHave.mp3 Basically, I just went into a quiet room, had some idea what I wanted to say, adjusted the gain so that the bars didn't rail too much, and recorded. As I spoke, I tried desperately to remember something from my Toastmasters training from a few years ago. Next time I'll remember some vocal variation techniques hehe. (Confession: I promised Bigger Pockets' Brandon Turner that I'd put something up by the end of this month, so there you go. This helps with meeting a deadline.) Use it or lose it: Repurpose it I'm not in a band at the moment so the Zoom's original purpose has changed. But I found a new way to use it, lest the whole thing is a waste of money. What do you have hiding in your closet that you could be using? (P.S. I invite you to share this post, if for no other reason to call attention to how far I need to come with speaking into a mi[...]



Fancy serial numbers: Unloading your spenders

2017-06-24T07:08:30Z

If you hunt for fancy serial numbers on dollar bills, the large majority of them will be “spenders,” also known as bills with ordinary serial numbers. Here are some ways to unload them if you're not a big cash person … One thing is true with any treasure-hunting endeavor: You've got to pick through a […] Visit Mighty Bargain Hunter for more articles on recognizing life's good deals! If you hunt for fancy serial numbers on dollar bills, the large majority of them will be “spenders,” also known as bills with ordinary serial numbers. Here are some ways to unload them if you're not a big cash person … One thing is true with any treasure-hunting endeavor: You've got to pick through a lot of things that aren't treasure. Treasure-hunting is 0.1% treasure, and 99.9% hunt. Fancy serial numbers are fancy because they're rare I've gone through upwards of $1,000 in $1 bills, looking for fancy serial numbers. I use the strategies that I've outlined in my ebook Fancy Serial Numbers for Fun and Profit to research, price, and try to sell them. “Yeah, spend that one” Some time ago I was in a coin shop. The guy in front of me was trying to sell his coins to the dealer, who was looking them over. More than once, the dealer got to one and told the man, “Yeah, spend that one.” Meaning, it wasn't worth any more than face value. Fancy Serial Numbers for Fun and ProfitStart a treasure hunt in your wallet and catch those gems that most people overlook every day! Includes an ebook and a spreadsheet with sold fancy serial number bills. Also contains information on currency errors! (Click picture for more info)Price: $7.77  In going through a bunch of dollar bills, I'm left with … a pile of dollar bills with entirely, utterly ordinary serial numbers. A whole bunch of “spenders.” Not biting the hand that feeds me Some of my friends who do similar treasure-hunting have no reservations at all about redepositing their spenders back into their bank accounts. Banks need to have deposits in checking and savings accounts, but they make their money in loans. These kinds of transactions aren't money-makers for the banks; they're money-losers. If I were a teller, this would get old pretty quickly. If I were a bank manager, I'd be tempted to change my policy or assess a fee for handling a high volume of cash, because this kind of thing is a cost to the bank. (This happened to one of my friends. “Yeah, they're charging $12 a box for coins now!”) So … I don't do this, almost to a fault. (At one point I had withdrawn nearly $1,000 worth of half dollars looking for silver ones. There wasn't a single silver half in the entire lot. I had spent down to about $600 before I gave up and redeposited the rest of them. I apologized to the teller for doing it.) How to unload them without annoying the tellers If you already use cash as your primary means of payment, then having a lot of $1 bills really isn't that much of a problem. Just buy stuff as you usually do! But if you pay with debit card or credit card, then it may be a bit tougher to spend a bunch of ones down. Here are a few ideas how to unload you spenders without getting blacklisted by your tellers: Yard sales. Cash is king at yard sales. But you can also be someone's hero by arriving just in time with a (literal) fistful of dollars, especially if everyone who's bought from them up to that point has had nothing but fives, tens, and twenties. Coffee club. Most of the coffee clubs, coffee pools, etc., at work have a can for collecting the money as people drink. Trade out your dollars for anything else that's in there. Concession stands. I missed my opportunity at my daughter's swim meet. The people working behind the counter we so happy to get my $1 bills! I'll hav[...]